During the late 1980s, the near-worship of artistic genius produced auction sales of works by Vmcent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso for tens of millions of dollars, over $15 million for a painting by Jasper Johns, and record prices for works by many other deceased and even living masters. At the same time, it was no longer controversial in academic and intellectual circles to maintain that art works are the products of what Howard Becker has termed collective activity carried out within loosely defined art worlds: Works of art, from this point of view, are not the products of individual makers, "artists" who possess a rare and special gift. They are, rather, joint products of all the people who cooperate via an art world's characteristic conventions to bring works like that into existence. Artists are some sub-group of the world's participants who, by common agreement, possess a specialgift, therefore make a unique and indispensable contribution to the work, and thereby make it art. (1982: 35) The concept of the art world-with its central focus on the collective, social, and conventional nature of artistic production, distribution, and appreciation--confronts and potentially undermines the romantic ideology of art and artists still dominant in Western societies.
Preface -- 1 Art and Artists on the Margins -- LARRY GROSS -- 2 Negotiating the Critical Discourse: The Armory Show Revisited/MOIRA MCLOUGHLIN -- 3 Public Art and Cultural Authority/RUTH SLAVIN -- 4 Artists Entering the Marketplace: Pricing New Art/KRYSTYNA WARCHOL -- 5 "Woman Artist": Between Myth and Stereofype/BETTE J. KAUFFMAN -- 6 From East to West Polish Artists in the New York Art World/KRYSTYNA WARCHOL -- 7 Directorial Intention and Persona in Film School/USA HENDERSON -- 8 "A Photograph Is Not a Picture": Distinguishing Anarchy from/Art in the Late Nineteenth Century/PAMELA INGLESBY -- 9 Between Art and Industry: Amateur Photography andMiddlebrow Culture/MICHAEL GRIFFIN -- 10 Trading Places in the Art World: The Reputations of/Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans/CATHERINE L. PRESTON -- 11 Graffiti as Public and Private Art/ROBERT S. DREW -- 12 Animation Art: The Fine Art of Selling Collectibles/WILLIAM MIKULAK -- 13 Native American Art and Artists in Visual Arts Documentaries/from 1973 to 1991/STEVEN LEUTHOLD -- About the Book and Editor -- About the Contributors.